Welcome to Libertas Chambers Leading specialists in Business Crime, Professional Discipline & Asset Recovery

Libertas is a dynamic and progressive chambers, offering a range of specialisms across a national presence.

"The clerking team at Libertas is extremely well regarded, led by the incredibly hard working and impressive Marc King."
Chambers & Partners 2023

Libertas Chambers

A Forward-thinking set of chambers with a national presence

Libertas Chambers boasts an impressive array of experienced barristers in several practice areas.  We took advantage of recent challenges to rethink the model of a chambers based on criminal and regulatory law and set up on a virtual basis.

This enabled us to create a national service for solicitors and clients by having high quality conference suites in major cities. In London we retain premises in the heart of the City.

Our members provide a high-quality service with access to modern facilities throughout the country.

Read more about us

Areas of Practice & Expertise

Our carefully selected and highly skilled collection of experts provide a national and international service to all Libertas clients. Providing you with a first-class advocacy and advisory service across the following areas (and many more).

If you would like to discuss an alternative area of law please contact our clerking team who will provide you with immediate advice and support.

Business Crime

Our barristers have established national and international reputations for their expertise, experience and confidence in Fraud, Financial Services and Business Crime and Compliance – they are consistently ranked as leaders in the field. We advise and represent individuals and entities in relation to financial, regulatory, and fraud investigations in the UK, and overseas. Our clients include financial institutions and corporations, as well as: politicians entrepreneurs company directors and chief executives chartered accountants lawyers IFAs and medical and other professionals We therefore have accumulated experience dealing with the Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, HMRC, National Trading Standards, FACT, as well as other investigating and prosecuting bodies. International Business Crime Many of our cases have an international dimension and we are accordingly experienced dealing with overseas authorities including the US Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and EU, Indian and Australian authorities. Practitioners specialise in trans-jurisdictional terrorist financing, proscribed wildlife trading, and export control violations. Members of our team have previously worked in the banking and commercial sectors and within their regulatory regimes. Others have had advisory and disciplinary roles regulating the accounting (FRC, ACCA, CIMA) and medical (GMC) sectors.  Some of us prosecute for these agencies as well as defending, and advise on and conduct internal investigations, or act as disclosure counsel. We understand how regulators and prosecution authorities work. Practitioners lecture and advise on corporate responsibility for human rights. We are often involved in an advisory role at the start of regulatory or criminal investigations. Our experience, attention to detail and dedication to our clients assists them in responding appropriately with the object of avoiding prosecution. When proceedings are commenced, we work to ensure that our clients receive the best advice and representation and, most importantly, a fair hearing. Business Crime Conduct Our work covers a wide range of conduct, recently including: Bribery and corruption, including European government officials Cartel Offending Commercial property fraud Corporate compliance with human rights obligations Environmental protection, including carbon credit and land fraud, wildlife trading and international illegal logging EU, National and Devolved Government grant scheme frauds Export Control violations Fraud and cheating in the sports sector (cricket, rugby, horse-racing) Fraudulent trading Insider trading, market manipulation and abuse Insolvency and bankruptcy offending Intellectual property theft Investment (boiler-room) fraud and Ponzi mis-selling Money laundering, restraint, confiscation and asset forfeiture Pension mis-selling and liberation frauds Professional discipline Tax Evasion SPV’s inc. film and insurance schemes MTIC & carousel fraud PAYE, payroll and C.I.S. frauds Duty diversions Terrorist financing Trading Standards prosecutions in clothing, energy switching and ticketing sectors Web-site ghosting and internet advance-fee frauds Whistle-blowing and deferred prosecution agreements We advise and represent well-known corporate clients and individuals in sensitive situations with discretion as well as vigour. Please call our Clerking team on 020 7036 0200 to discuss any particular requirements you may have.

Criminal Defence

Libertas Chambers brings together some of the country’s leading criminal defence specialists. Exceptional juniors and renowned Queens Counsel provide quality representation from the Supreme Court, through the Crown Courts across London and the Circuits and in the Magistrates Court. Members of Libertas Chambers also regularly appear in quasi-criminal jurisdictions where their experience in the criminal courts provides a cutting edge service in regulatory and professional disciplinary proceedings. Chambers accept instructions in both publicly and privately funded work and members provide specialist and strategic advice at all stages of a criminal case, from pre-charge investigation through to trial and appeal. Members of Chambers have appeared in some of the most high-profile criminal cases of recent times, including Operation Elveden (selling stories about Prince William and Prince Harry to The Sun), R v H and C [2004] 2 AC 134 (leading case on disclosure), R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8 (clarifying an error in the law in accessorial liability) and R v Lewis [2017] EWCA Crim 1734 on the approach to joint principalship. Areas Of Criminal Defence Expertise Our members are regularly instructed in the following key areas of criminal defence practice: Appellate Homicide Corporate manslaughter Terrorism Drug trafficking Serious and organised crime, including corruption and bribery International crime Human trafficking Modern Slavery Fraud Cyber crime Robbery Serious assaults Kidnaping Serious sexual offences Environmental health offences Trading standards prosecutions RSPCA prosecutions Our criminal defence barristers offer expert advice to a wide range of external authorities and regularly provide training and lectures on current topics to other members of the legal profession, experts and those who work within the wider criminal justice system.

Regulatory Law

Our members have substantial experience defending individuals and companies in regulatory law matters before professional tribunals or the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) and above. What distinguishes us from other regulatory barristers specialising in regulatory work is that clients will benefit from our skills and experience as criminal advocates. WHAT IS REGULATORY LAW? Many professions are regulated by professional standards boards and codes of conduct. These codes of conduct can be subject to frequent change and are becoming more demanding and sophisticated and, in some cases, opaque. If a regulatory agency believes that offences have taken place, they have broad powers of investigation. They can conduct inspections, seize documents, compel suspects to answer questions, conduct interviews under caution, serve statutory notices, and take enforcement action, including prosecution. If you need help, our regulatory law barristers can provide legal support and representation. REGULATORY LAW OUR BARRISTERS SPECIALISE IN Our members specialise in many areas of regulatory law, including: Professional Discipline Regulatory Prosecutions We can assist with regulatory bodies, including: – The Financial Services Authority – The Health and Safety Executive – Food Standards Agency – The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – Environment Agency – HM Revenue & Customs WHY CHOOSE OUR REGULATORY BARRISTERS? Contentious regulatory law work often requires a robust defence, strategic advice and preparation, and skilful cross-examination of witnesses. The lack of hard-fought trial experience in some regulatory practitioners means that the witnesses may not be put under the degree of sustained pressure in cross-examination that the client is entitled to and expects. We believe that any individual or corporate entity facing a serious regulatory law accusation is entitled to the same robust defence as a defendant in a criminal case. The consequence of a false regulatory accusation can be just as damaging and life-changing as a false accusation of a criminal offence. Professionals can be vulnerable to malicious complaints. The only way to tackle these successfully is to use the skills honed in the criminal courts to uncover false accusations. We understand that these cases often cross over between criminal, civil, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. We are also very aware of both the commercial and emotional impact these cases can have on clients and have a lot of experience supporting our clients through the challenges. We are also well-versed in working with insurers, unions and defence organisations. The regulatory law team includes trained mediators and members with experience working within the City and in-house with regulators. Contact Our Regulatory Law Barristers If you would like to speak with a member of our team, there are plenty of ways to contact Libertas Chambers. Our clerks will be only too happy to recommend the most appropriate barrister or combination of barristers for each individual case.

Civil Litigation

There can often be a very thin line between conduct which is criminal in nature or which amounts to commercial fraud only. The correct advice and selecting the right remedy can make all the difference. Some cases are best left to be prosecuted in criminal courts, where the offender faces the prospect of penal consequences. In other cases, seeking remedies in a commercial or a civil court may be more expedient for you to recoup your losses. And then, there are cases where you may want to explore both possibilities simultaneously. Types of Civil Litigation Civil litigation can encompass a broad range of disputes that will directly enact a number of legal matters. A civil litigator will therefore tend to specialise in a specific practice area. Some of the most common types of civil litigation include: disputes and laws that encompass landlords and tenants environmental law products liability intellectual-property disputes construction medical malpractice employment and labour issues anti-trust laws real estate worker’s compensation, and education law Our Civil Litigation Barristers At Libertas, we pride ourselves on having barristers who have vast experience in multiple domains. We can advise you on selecting the correct remedy for your situation. We assist you with advice that lets you form an informed view. Our members routinely provide pre-litigation advice that helps you form a comprehensive legal overview of your situation and the possibilities. Contact Libertas Chambers today to discuss representation for any civil litigation matter.

Public Law & Human Rights

Libertas Chambers enjoys a leading reputation at the public law and human rights bar. Our barristers frequently appear in the Administrative Court and Upper Tribunal in judicial review hearings and administrative appeals. We help our clients pursue public law challenges against all public authorities, including government departments, courts and tribunals, coroners, the police, housing authorities, schools and prisons. Judicial Review Judicial Review proceedings enable challenges to decisions made by Courts and Tribunals, by regulators and by bodies whose public functions impact individuals and companies. This jurisdiction is an essential protection of the individual’s rights against administrative irrationality or excess. We have specialist experience seeking Judicial Review in cases flowing from our other practice areas, challenging decisions in criminal and quasi-criminal investigations. Members have acted for claimants seeking to challenge decisions made by the police, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the Information Commissioner, the Asset Recovery Agency, the Legal Services Commission, the Magistracy, Judges and various Tribunals. These cases have included: challenges to the lawfulness of pre-charge search warrants decisions to prosecute children actions by solicitors resisting Special Procedure search warrants challenges to the legality of the application of the sending procedure by Magistrates Courts preserving the anonymity of young offenders in extreme cases the applicability of the reasonable time requirements in Article 6 to enforcement of Confiscation Proceedings decisions on appellate referral by the CCRC treatment of prisoners and the review of Parole Board decisions. Criminal Trials Within the criminal trial process, our members have expertise at first instance on: domestic appeal and applications in the European Court of Human Rights and the OHCHR challenging a range of human rights violations, as well as the compatibility of primary and secondary legislation with the European Convention for the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms (ECHR) such as the hearsay provisions in CJA 2003, the reverse burden in s.90 Financial Services Act 2012 the Attorney-General’s exercise of the right of nolle prosequi We act nationally and internationally for people whose human rights are in issue in other forums, including actions against the police, extradition, international law, prisoners’ rights, and at Coronial Inquests. Why Choose Our Human Rights Barristers? Libertas Chambers’ members have advised and acted on behalf of individuals, governmental organisations and major NGOs in providing international human rights expertise. Our members provide advice and representation in cases concerning Prison Law, including issues relating to prisoners’ welfare, Parole Board hearings, and the release and recall of prisoners. Coronial Inquests engage the rights of many groups; members have experience representing interested parties, insurers and the families of the deceased. We offer particular expertise where there is a potential engagement of criminal or regulatory proceedings, acting for insurers and their policyholders.

Private Prosecutions

The prosecution of alleged criminals for wrongdoing is generally the domain of the Crown and its specialist agencies. But increasing budgetary constraints on investigating and prosecution agencies mean that many miscreants can avoid being held to account in the Criminal Courts for their actions. Why Private Prosecutions? When State prosecutors decide they cannot or will not prosecute, the law allows private individuals to prosecute allegations of wrongdoing. Initiating a private prosecution puts you in court as the prosecutor, adopting the mantle of the prosecution agency. Who Can Bring A Private Prosecution? A private prosecution can be brought by any individual or company – it is not solely an option for the police, CPS or government agency. In the past, private prosecutions were more common among charitable or public interest bodies. But more recently, section 6(1) has been increasingly used by individuals and commercial entities as an alternative to or alongside civil litigation. Which offences can be privately prosecuted? Subject to certain exceptions, private prosecutions can be brought for a wide range of offences where the CPS have not initiated criminal proceedings, including: Fraud Property disputes Assault Sexual offences Harassment Perverting the course of justice Blackmail Manslaughter/murder Private Prosecution Barristers Private prosecutions are a specialist area of the law. The right to prosecute, and seek punishment of offenders, brings with it the responsibility of ensuring a fair trial and the obligation to conform to all the rules applicable to any prosecuting agency. Those rules are often complex and diffuse. At Libertas Chambers, our barristers are experienced in liaising with potential prosecuting authorities and advising how to assemble the best case for the prosecution, taking the case to court and seeking justice, even where the Crown Prosecution Service or other prosecution agencies cannot or will not act. Importantly, this includes continuing advice on the recovery of compensation and some or all of litigation costs from defendants or Central Funds. We start by helping you assess your evidence, advising you on the right forum in which to litigate and on the merits of your case, then working with the best private prosecution solicitors to put together and finally present your case at trial, ensuring continuity of representation and consistency of approach. Members of chambers can offer advice about the particular issues that arise in private prosecutions, including: the prospects of success, applying for and resisting the issue of a summons, applications to the Director of Public Prosecutions to take over and stop a prosecution, presenting and resisting abuse of process arguments recovery of costs. If you would like to find out more information about private prosecutions, please contact our clerks to arrange an initial consultation to discuss the merits of your case.

International Law

Libertas Chambers can field a range of quality advocates who are able to undertake advisory, consultancy and adversarial work in International Criminal Law including: Genocide Torture Crimes against Humanity War Crimes (including several members who are experienced in military tribunals) Why Choose Our International Law Barristers? Members of Libertas Chambers have significant experience in international criminal law at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, including appeals in cases concerning genocide, crimes against humanity and joint criminal enterprise in an international context. Members experience extends to issues of universal and extra territorial jurisdiction, transnational human trafficking, statelessness and citizenship stripping. Members of Libertas Chambers are available to advise on issues of complementarity arising in International Criminal Law investigations and the application of domestic criminal law in the context of war crimes, torture and other international crimes, to include where there are overlaps with International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Terrorism as an international crime, Extradition and Asset freezing regimes. International Criminal Law Expertise We are particularly proud to have a number of members with expertise in international terrorism law who have acted in the UK and overseas in high profile cases at trial and on appeal. Our members are also experts in extradition law, particularly in the context of multinational financial crime. Members of Libertas Chambers also have recent experience across the Commonwealth and in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and have experience in death penalty cases overseas We have members on the lists and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in the Hague and who have appeared in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)> Members provide teaching and training in a wealth of international criminal law spheres.

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Latest News
Acquittal in a “joint enterprise” murder by shooting in Dudley A jury sitting before Bennathan J at the Loughborough Super Court returned not guilty verdicts for Felicity’s client on both murder and a firearms offence on 18 January 2023 after a 3 month trial. The case was alleged to be pre planned by 8 defendants but, during the course of the trial, the case against Felicity’s client changed to the point that the judicial directions properly asked the jury to consider whether the prosecution had proved he had carried out any relevant conduct at all. Felicity led Afzal Anwar of 33 Bedford Row and was instructed by Sardar Asghar of DNL Law Ltd. You can read more about the case and the mixed verdicts here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-64338673 (note the charge of conspiracy referred to in the article was amended to murder)
Libertas Chambers
Aggravated burglary acquittal for Libertas Client at Kingston Crown Court Syam Soni secures acquittal for client accused of aggravated burglary at Kingston Crown Court Syam’s client, along with 2 others, was said to have attacked the home of a severely disabled man with knives. The Defendant’s DNA was recovered from a window through which entry was attempted. The timely instruction of an expert allowed for the forensic evidence to be robustly challenged. Syam successfully resisted the Prosecution‘s application to adduce several previous convictions relating to weapons, drugs and violence. Syam was instructed by Kaddy Bojang of Taylor Rose MW Solicitors.
Libertas Chambers
Darren Snow in Pro Bono success at the NMC Darren Snow recently represented a nurse before the Nursing & Midwifery Council in fitness to practice proceedings concerning potentially career ending allegations of patient abuse, dishonesty and multiple clinical failures at a care home involving several patients, one of whom had died and been the subject of neglect allegations by the family. Darren acted pro bono, instructed by Advocate. The allegations went back several years and until Darren’s involvement the nurse had been a litigant in person with no legal advice or support at all.  The nurse had continued to work with new employers in the interim without any interim order in place. Darren was able to get a substantial amount of highly prejudicial material excluded from the hearing including evidence from an inquest and police investigation – all accepted by the NMC to be inadmissible despite their initial attempts to rely upon it in the proceedings. At the hearing Darren’s submissions led to all charges of patient abuse and dishonesty being dismissed. Limited findings on separate charges were made by the Panel in respect of clinical failures leading to a 1-year caution order being imposed. In feedback to Advocate the nurse said of Darren “I would particularly like to thank Darren Snow, without his legal knowledge I would not have got through it” Darren Snow is ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in professional discipline work. He has a wealth of experience successfully defending nurses and midwives at the NMC and regularly acts for the RCN and other defence organisations. For further information on Libertas’s Professional Disciplinary and Pro Bono work please contact our clerks.
Darren Snow
Latest Insights
Chambers Article: Closing Prisons? The Howard League for Penal Reform meets Coaching Inside and Out and The Longford Trust. This Article by Dr Felicity Gerry KC accompanies our Libertas Chambers webinar on closing prisons which you can watch here – Libertas YouTube The webinar explored penal policy and prisoner potential with Andrea Coomber KC(Hon), CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Clare McGregor, Founder of Coaching Inside and Out, Abi Andrews, Employability Manager at The Longford Trust. Presented by our Dr Felicity Gerry KC, these pioneering women discussed legal services as a lifeline and the impact alternatives such as coaching and employability projects, can have for those who find themselves ‘behind bars’. Click below to read in full. Download Article now To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register
Libertas Chambers
FIRST OF A KIND LEGAL ARTICLE Chaynee Hodgetts has published an article in the Solicitors Journal on the risks of false positives in forensic alcohol testing The article is understood to be the first of its kind for the legal literature, in scrutinising the risk that false positive alcohol metabolite testing results could potentially be caused by hair bleaching and hand sanitiser. Chaynee, one of our newest tenants, has over 10 years’ experience as an academic and Law Lecturer, and is now an Honorary Lecturer in Criminal Law and Medical Law, assisting at both Bangor University and on MSc programmes at QMUL’s Centre for Trauma Sciences (C4TS) at the Blizard Institute. The article explains alcohol metabolite testing (tests for EtG, EtPa and FAEE), and highlights the little-known, but highly relevant, effect of hair bleaching and the risk of false positive results. It also explores a novel and original issue, only just developing in the scientific literature – and, to date, not explored in case precedent – whether alcohol-based hand sanitiser (ABHS) could be leading to false positive errors in forensic alcohol testing in criminal and family cases. The full article is free to access and share here: www.solicitorsjournal.com/sjarticle/hands-face-alcohol-trace-hair-dye-hand-sanitiser-and-forensic-tests/602831
Libertas Chambers
Examining the legal and evidential challenges of raising a modern slavery defence in the criminal courts of England and Wales Dr Felicity Gerry KC and Chaynee Hodgetts publish an article in UK Criminal Law Review the leading quality journal for all those involved in criminal law. The article examines the legal and evidential challenges of raising a modern slavery defence in the criminal courts of England and Wales. Felicity’s PhD was on criminal justice as a strategic game for trafficked women. She is also a contributor to Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Law and Practice (Bloomsbury). She appeared for a successful applicant in R v AAD and others. Chaynee, one of our newest tenants has over 10 years’ experience as an academic. The article discusses three areas: The complexities of the admission of, and reliance on, expert evidence, despite the recognition in English law of the importance of identifying victims of human trafficking – and how the consequences of their victimhood can be long-term. The limitations of the statutory defence under s.45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 where the balance appears to remain problematic, rather than providing protection, due to the exclusionary provisions in Schedule 4. The limitations of the requirement for compulsion for the operation of the defence, rather than a recognition that the trafficked person loses their autonomy through exploitation and should not bear criminal responsibility The article was written together with Riccardo Pagano of Thompson and Co Solicitors. For those with a subscription the full article can be found here – https://www.sweetandmaxwell.co.uk/Product/Criminal-Law/Criminal-Law-Review/Journal/30791441
Libertas Chambers
Latest Events
The Best Way to Develop the Current Law on Complicity, AKA “Joint Enterprise” The Best Way to Develop the Current Law on Complicity, AKA “Joint Enterprise” LIBERTAS CHAMBERS ONLINE LECTURE 23 February 2023 at 6pm. THE BEST WAY TO DEVELOP THE LAW ON COMPLICITY AKA “JOINT ENTERPRISE” As concerns rise about the incarceration of accessories to murder for increasingly long periods of time, this webinar  will consider the current substantive law of complicity, and where it could be improved. The focus is on the physical components of the crime and will suggest there are the tools available in the law already to improve the law, particularly picking out the need for a substantial contribution by the accomplice, and a sufficiently high level of fault. Presented by our Dr Felicity Gerry KC and Professor Matthew Dyson (Corpus Christi College, Oxford): Felicity is well known for leading in the UK Supreme Court in R v Jogee and for defending cases involving issues of complicity in homicide, terrorism and international crimes.  Matthew was a defence expert in R v Jogee. He made a leading contribution to the correction of the error of law and is widely published in the field. This webinar presents his recent research into how to regulate liability in complicity with greater legitimacy. Register today – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-best-way-to-develop-the-law-on-complicity-aka-joint-enterprise-tickets-473220534357 To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers
Art Law, Cultural Loss and Terrorism – Webinar Video We recently held a webinar presenting the research of Dr Jonathan Harris from his edited collection Terrorism and the Arts Practices and Critiques in Contemporary Cultural Production. We also discussed contemporary legal challenges in the context of terrorism and art and considered art law in the context of cultural loss in transnational and international law. Libertas’ own Dr Felicity Gerry KC and Fahrid Chishty presented the webinar alongside Dr Jonathan Harris. Felicity is experienced in law on accountability for destruction of cultural heritage and organised crime involving the trafficking of antiquities and has been instructed in a complex historic matter involving reparations for cultural loss. Fahrid specialises in organised crime and has published on the systematic erasure of historic Armenian heritage. To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here. If you would like to read a write-up of the event please do so by downloading from the link below: Download Article here
Libertas Chambers
CLOSING PRISONS? HOWARD LEAGUE MEETS COACHING INSIDE AND OUT – Webinar Video: click here Dickens wrote when the Marshalsea prison was closed: “the world is none the worse without it.” Prisons are an expensive failure. There are over 81,000 people in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales. Most are vulnerable. The system fails them and fails to prevent crime. It is a brutal lack of a solution maintained by click bait political and media nonsense. This webinar explores penal policy and prisoner potential with Andrea Coomber KC(Hon), CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Clare McGregor, Founder of Coaching Inside and Out Abi Andrews, Employability Manager at the Longford Trust. We discuss legal services as a lifeline and the impact coaching can have for those who find themselves ‘behind bars’. Presented by our Dr Felicity Gerry KC: Felicity has spent decades researching and campaigning on injustices for prisoners, particularly, women, IPP prisoners and those convicted of ‘joint enterprise’. She will discuss the abject failure of sentencing guidelines, the appalling ‘container’ mentality of penal policy and the need for a totally new approach to close prisons. Register today – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/closing-prisons-howard-league-meets-coaching-inside-and-out-tickets-440841898987 To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers